22 January 2014

Africa: New Web Platform Launched to Accelerate Green Economy Transition

press release

Geneva — A robust, state-of-the-art knowledge-sharing platform was launched today by the newly established Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP), a diverse consortium of leading institutions and organizations working in areas related to green growth and green economy.

The website is in response to increasing demand from both policy makers and the public for information on ways to achieve sustainable economic growth.

Like the GGKP itself, the website - which features a searchable e-library with over 600 technical and policy resources, as well as dashboards with data and policies for 193 countries - transcends the traditional divide between economy and the environment.

It mobilizes knowledge, experience and support from disparate partners in both the global economic and environmental arenas, all of which share the common goal of accelerating green growth.

"The GGKP is quickly emerging as the leading platform for managing and sharing knowledge around green growth and its new web platform will help to empower others", said Howard Bamsey, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

He added: "Through world-class knowledge management, the GGKP is able to provide decision makers with the policy analysis, guidance, information and tools necessary to support a green economy transition."

The Geneva-based GGKP also confirmed a CHF 1.6 million (US $1.7 million), three-year commitment from the Swiss government.

The pledge bolsters the initiative's existing support from its founding partners: the GGGI, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank. The GGKP's Geneva-based office will be jointly managed by the GGGI and UNEP.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said: "The Green Growth Knowledge Platform provides a much needed tool to bridge knowledge gaps, exchange information and deliver policy guidance to accelerate and support the transition towards green economic development."

"A transformation towards a green economy is not just about the environment. It must be a priority across all facets of the post-2015 development agenda in order to deliver growth and prosperity and improved livelihoods. Achieving this goal rests on the integration of social, economic and environmental goals in public and private decision making, emphasizing a holistic and far-sighted approach", he added.

Green growth - meaning a path of economic growth which uses natural resources sustainably and works towards a global green economy - is a rapidly developing field encompassing aspects of science, global trade and investments, job creation and other areas.

"Geneva is already host to a number of different international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, and academic institutions working on green growth, building a green economy cluster. We are very excited to have the GGKP establish its roots here. It will benefit from the cluster and reinforce it at the same time", said Bruno Oberle of Switzerland's Federal Office for the Environment.

He added: "A green economy will allow us to achieve and keep high living standards. GGKP contributes to the solid knowledge base necessary for the transition towards this green economy."

As of January 2014, the GGKP confirms agreements with 29 knowledge partners, including international organizations, research institutes and think tanks. Moving forward, the GGKP will work with these partners to promote collaboration and coordinated research on a number of priority themes, including green growth indicators and measurement, trade and competitiveness and green technology and innovation.

A Green Growth Practitioners' Workshop is scheduled for 5-6 February in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and UNEP will host the GGKP's next Annual Conference in September 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya.

About the GGKP

The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) is a global partnership of international organizations and experts that identifies and addresses major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice.

By encouraging widespread collaboration and world-class research, the GGKP offers practitioners and policymakers the policy guidance, good practices, tools, and data necessary to support the transition to a green economy.

The GGKP was established in January 2012 by the Global Green Growth Institute, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank. This group of partners has since expanded to include a large, diverse group of leading institutions and organizations active in areas related to green growth and green economy at the local, national, regional, and international levels.

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